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Hi Reggie,

Could you elaborate on what PIMCO did today?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/pimco-gross-fate-idUSN1013888320110311

Does that mean the end of QE in US? If Pimco doesn't want to buy bonds, does that signal a problem for the US treasury? Are interest rates gonna rise now?

Wish you good luck at ING, a 'system' bank that was too big to be nationalized like ABN because our government simply couldn't afford it. I hope there will be some videos of the presentation too, as I'll probably won't attend (I'm just a part-time technical drawer without money to invest nor education in finance) - but I do want to see you impress the audience! If you take your journey a bit further to the south-east outskirts of of Amsterdam (Bijlmer), or to The Hague, you can see the half-empty mega-malls. "Mega" when measured in Dutch measures - of course. And you know who bought that The Hague half-empty mall? Yes, you guessed it: ING Real Estate.

Here's what our government said:

http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/nieuws/2011/03/07/aanpak-leegstaande-kantoren.html
(please note that's a government website!)

'in 2010, 14% of CRE was empty; in some zones up to 30%'. So government wants to put in 'poor students', hospitals, agriculture, hotels, our _government_ is complaining it is caused by the banking industry - who saw CRE as a way to earn money instead as a way to house companies, so they say the _system_ has to change, and last but not least they say "less CRE should be bulit".

Ah, you see, more news bites and bits confirming you were right!

Please remember lots of Dutch people might not immediately know what CRE and CDO's are, though I assume most do. "MS" mostly refers to Microsoft, and "GS" to the most popular Dutch blog most of the time as well, so you might want to keep that in mind.

A current 'trending' topic nowadays is the NL government trying to sell/de-nationalize ABN Amro (the Dutch ABN-Amro part bought by Fortis + the old Dutch Fortis part) and if the government will or will not make a profit when selling. Another interesting thing to note is several large banks (were?) 'split'. ABN was already split by the RBS/Santander/Fortis consortium (and someone else bought LaSalle before the collapse; sheer luck for ABN!) and I believe some banks like ING split of their insurances. Don't know if it's of any use, but if you want to know what Dutch people are interested about, that's it. And of course how much money will be coming back from Iceland - if ever.

Of course, add your excellent coverage of how NL is exposed to Spain, I believe your model has shown 15% of Spanish "real estate misery" was bought by the Dutch. They'll almost certainly find that interesting. If you really want to step some toes and tell something fascinating, find out why Dutch Triodos bank wasn't affected by the 'credit crisis' at all, while ABN/Fortis and DSB went bankrupt (the latter being a pretty fraudulent smaller bank), and ING almost fell. instead they rose their liquidity in the disaster year that was 2008; their BIS-ratio for 2010 is 14,7%. Or I can tell you now: Because they never bought any of the poison that is "repackaged real estate", they kept far from it.

Good luck, and hope to see some video coverage!